Thursday, October 25, 2012

10 Months Later

I was just reminded that this blog exists. Somebody quoted from it in the description of a facebook event. I didn't recognize the passage, but it was credited to Mateo's Blog, so I searched around a bit and it was indeed mine. I haven't written here since New Year's Day of this year, and though it seems like a wasted effort to write something new for an abandoned and most likely unread blog, the spirit is moving me, and I know better than to fight her. 

The event that I was quoted in is a party at my (ware)house, the Casa de Angelopes in Inglewood, California. The reason for the party is to mark the end of an era. The Casa is CLOSED. After two or three years of chaos, creation, destruction, and noise, the neighbors finally managed to figure out how to get us removed from this delightful little compound at the intersection of West and Hyde Park. Given that, I find it fitting that my last entry here was about feeling at home here in Inglewood. 

Now, however, I am about to be homeless. More or less by my own choice. I don't want to live in a collective anymore. However, I am also jobless with very little money saved. I plan to put most of my things in storage and live out of my van, which will be parked in the Echo Park / Silver Lake area. That is where the rest of my house-mates are moving, and that is where most of my business is these days, on account of the fact that I am the newest member of the very busy Manhattan Murder Mystery. I found out that the Casa was Over while on tour with MMM. I had been seriously contemplating moving out, anyway, so I was almost glad to be pushed out. 

I am deeply saddened, however, that this giant tin shack is about to have its heart ripped out. From the first moment I stepped in here, I felt as if I was in a giant living work of art. Everywhere you look, there is something brilliant to behold. (It feels like I'm going in the direction of a full-on text description of this place, and I know I don't have the time to carry out that monumental task. I am also suspicious that I don't have the skill, so I'll leave the subject with this: As sad as it is, it seems almost right for it to have to die. This thing burned far too bright to last very long.)

Sunday, January 1, 2012


My grandfather was born in Los Angeles. His parents were Russian jews who fled the pogroms of the early 1900's. They converted to Catholicism, and that's how my grandfather was raised. I didn't find out he was jewish until after he died.

My dad grew up in the neighborhood I live in now, around Crenshaw. He and his family left the area in the late 60's, shortly after the Watts riots. Thinking about it now I am reminded of my grandmother's mild racism. She and her racism are dead now, buried at Holy Cross cemetery on Slauson Blvd., near the 405.

I didn't realize when I began living here that I was, in a way, moving "home". I knew my dad grew up in the city, but I didn't know what neighborhood, exactly. I grew up in the north central part of LA, near Glendale. I've never felt much like an outsider here in Inglewood even though maybe I should, seeing how I grew up white and comfortable and this neighborhood is more brown and struggling. Now, though, having seen the house where my dad grew up and the place where his parents are buried, I feel even more at home here. I feel a mild sense of history and belonging that I don't even feel about the place I grew up. I'd say it's nice, but that's a pretty banal commentary. It's something, though.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

In Your Ass, Eating a Ham Sandwich

I was going to write about something, but I forget what. I don't think it was the obvious choice of writing about Santa Youth. Oh yeah, dead people.

I was sitting around the house real quiet-like. I couldn't move. I decided to go for a ride around the neighborhood. I ended up in Inglewood Park Cemetery wandering around a mausoleum. It was surreal. totally empty of living people, but bursting at the seams with dead ones. There were long hallways with 20 foot high ceilings, the walls filled with names of the people inside. Some had pews like churches. All the windows were stained glass. My feet on polished concrete was the only sound.

I remembered that I had sent myself the location of Ray Charles' grave, and it just so happened that I was in exactly the right place. I found it and took a picture, and while I was looking at it muttered to myself, "Ray Charles is in there."

I also had the location of Ella Fitzgerald's body. It was in another mausoleum, a new one that is apparently one of the larger in the world. It didn't have the delightful creepiness of Ray's crypt. Here's Ella.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

You Are My Moonshine

This track was edited down from an impromptu recording session in the Casa studio. It features Richie, Alaska, Alexis, Beth, Justin, and probably some others but I can't remember for sure. We made it the night that Alexis finished her latest batch of moonshine. I came up with the lyrics as we were "testing" the booze, and wrote them on the house chalkboard with instructions to learn them and meet in the studio in 20 minutes. I set up the mics and we jammed on it. There is a lot to be desired in this track, in my opinion, but it captures the moment well enough to keep. It was definitely fun to make. One of these days maybe I'll write another verse or two.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Morning

The warehouse is in fine running condition at the moment. And now it has a bar.

I set up a room mic to capture stuff quickly, and made this little snippet from a jam session featuring KB, RT, A, and myself. Revival Hands.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Show The Man Your Balls

This song took longer than it should have. I made it in a freestyle session a couple of weeks ago. Last week I started layering it, but I got sick and stopped. Finished today. J. Money Gibbons gets some production credit.

Monday, September 19, 2011


I was sitting here listening to the song, trying to figure out what to name the song, and around me people had brought up hexes, and spirits, and kind of evil shit in general. They didn't know I was trying to name a song on the subject. Bones got to talking about these pits in Bakersfield called sumps where water collects and no people are allowed, but of course people go in there anyways and sometimes they get killed. So the song is called Bakersfield.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Yakitori Technique

The other day I was playing bike polo. Mini-bike polo, actually. I reached a point where I saw things coming and visualized what I wanted to do and made them happen. Then I started to suck again, which is normal, I guess. Fine.

I'm watching the latest episode of Naruto Shippuden, and it is testing my patience because it is a filler episode. That is, its kind of an aside from the main story arch. I love the series so much though, that I watch the filler episodes. I like how they fill out some of the ancillary characters and what not. The episode I'm watching right now is about Rock Lee and his teacher. Rock is learning visualization. The shit works. Gotta put it on my to do list.

I like this place because I'm sitting here in my own world, headphones on, and then someone just sat next to me on the couch and read his book. Being alone together is an important part of being in a community.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wesley Willis, the Daddy of Rock and Roll, Whopped my Ass from Beyond the Grave

Fabian Road Warrior is a great record. It was released by American, the same label that did Johnny Cash's last records. I bought a copy of it in 1997, I think, and fell in love. As all records do, however, it eventually fell out of rotation and I more or less forgot about Wesley Willis for a long time. Its still lying around somewhere. I gotta find it. A few days before leaving for the Stupid Desert Rave, one of my housemates reminded me of Wesley Willis and now I'm back on the wagon. There was a car shaped like a telephone playing "The Vultures Ate My Dead Ass Up" at Burning Man. I watched a documentary about him yesterday.

In addition to making Rad Art, Wesley Willis is teaching me a little bit. The man had focus. His work is ridiculously focused, to the point that, yes, all of his 100's of songs are in some way identical. Me, on the other hand, I make all sorts of different shit. I aspire to be more like Wesley Willis.

This song was improvised. I overdubbed cello and bells, and I like the way it sounds. I think the lyrics could be better. I wrote new ones but couldn't quite capture the spirit of the original performance, so here it is. Wesley Willis Whopped My Ass.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lots going on

I built a music studio in the warehouse. I designed the space, framed the walls, hung the drywall, laid the carpet, covered the walls, all that stuff. Never done anything like that before. It came out good.

Yesterday I learned to weld. I am in the process of building a set of chimes to install deep playa at burning man. Part of the process involves cutting CO2 canisters to various lengths. Another part involves welding pieces of steel together to make a frame. I like welding.

Thing morning I registered with the Universal Life Church. I am now Revered Mateo José Kátez. I don't feel much holier than I did before.

Example ordination

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The War For Santa Claus

I built a room. I had help. Alaska started it when we busted out a wall. Then me and Mr. Gibbons finished it. Tonight I could have gone to a Gibbons and the Sluts show, and I could have gone to Jack Rabbit's gallery opening but instead I stayed home, put some carpet on the ceiling, and set up my recording hardware. About the same time I finished setting up, Mr. Gibbons got home and I asked him to play banjo with me. The result, at the moment, is an mp3 that you can listen to and download if you play the clicketey clack game right here.


I believe in war but I don't believe in Santa Claus
Can you tell me where he buys his clothes and how much do they cost?
How much does it cost to care?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Forget About It

You know, if you keep keeping your thoughts to yourself this blog is going to get quite boring.

Right now I'm thinking about Handel and cats like that who had to practice their craft under the authority of a sovereign.

Drinking Miller High Life makes me want to attack Tomatoes' book. I'm glad Gibbons didn't have any cigarettes because if he did I would be smoking rather than typing. I bet a lof of typewriter era writers were good at smoking with no hands.

Edward R. Murrow. Lil B. Charles Thompson. Witchcraft.

I recorded my song: "My Sophia" today on a halfway decent reel-to-reel machine at the Casa de Angelopes. I played piano and sang. I think it is a relatively faithful representation. I should be patient and send it out for mastering to see if it could sound better, which it certainly could. Interruption: Gunshots right now. Actually, yeah, thats what I'm gonna do. Nevermind. I'm posting it right now, and taking it down later. Or shit, yeah, looks like I'm gonna get it mastered, but here's a link anyway. I'll leave it up until a better version comes out. FYI: its a .WAV.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I Write The Songs

I was going through my recordings tonight, organizing them and whatnot. In the process I stumbled across this track. Its a demo, I suppose. I wrote it a few months ago. Seemed worth sharing, so here it is. I'm not going to write out the lyrics because they are pretty easy to understand and I am feeling a lazy.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Crescenta Valley, Berkeley, NELA, Mexico City, San Fernando Valley, and now Inglewood

The above is a screenshot from my unofficial csun transcript. I guess I really jumped through all the hoops; well enough, even, to demand that the words Cum Laude appear there. If I go through another year of classes and student teaching then I will be able to look for work as a credentialed music teacher in the state of California. I hear it's a shitty time to look for that kind of work, though, and even if that wasn't the case I'm not exactly jumping up and down about the idea of working for a SCHOOL and dealing with PARENTS and BUREAUCRACY.

I more or less checked out of the music teacher life-path about six months ago. I'm not sure why. It didn't feel like a choice. One semester of pain just to finish what I started, a few weeks on the road working and partying, and now for the time being I'm living in the Casa de Angelopes, aka Funderland: a warehouse in Inglewood filled with everything you'd need to build a bike or a bedroom, paint a picture or record an album. It's also filled with people and pretty much lacking in privacy. I've always had my own room or my own dwelling, so its an interesting change. I'm spending a lot of time doing a lot of things. I can be more or less constantly productive here. When I'm tired of working on my own projects I can help people with theirs, or clean up the constantly evolving mess or make food or whatever, etc., amen. One foot in front of the other, the party never ends.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Acid Kid

Long story short: I tried to talk down a schizoid. I thought he was just a harmless acid casualty. I ended up getting punched in the side of the head. I didn't react because he had already crossed a lot of lines with me at that point., and what's a little punch between friends? He asked me to punch him back, and I honored his request. It was a terrible punch. I'd never tried to really punch somebody before. The hilarious part is that he humored me. For a brief moment he was trying to make me feel better rather than the other way around. He said something like: "That was fine. Good job."

It ended well for both parties. I had fun and the cops let him go before psychiatric services could get there. Something weird: A day or two earlier I was thinking that I'd like to punch someone. It wasn't an aggressive/anger thing. It was pure curiosity. I was wondering what it would feel like, physically, to punch someone in the face. I wondered if I could deliver a good punch.

Anyway: I was messing around with my new ukelele today, and I wrote a little song-segment to celebrate Acid Kid. I played it for my sister and she laughed. I could probably write more, but the house was chaotic and I've got to get on the road. I'm about to return to home sweet home Los Angeles after almost three weeks on the road. Not that I have a home there or anything.

Listen to Acid Kid (Sorry for the horrible quality. I recorded it with my phone)


Acid kid
Dance with me
How'd your nose
Get so bloody?
Take my word
No one is trying to kill you
At least no one here

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Feelings Towards The Medium By Means Of Which I Am Communicating With You At Present

I have been keeping a journal lately. I started this blog because the urge to self-document overtook me. However, shortly after starting it I realized that I don't want to be doing so PUBLICLY. So, I started writing in a journal. It's the best yet. It resides in a three ring binder on college ruled paper. I don't need to stare at a screen or utilize electricity to use it. I love it.

Here is a picture I took of the latest bit of scribbling in there. It is a journal, so the writing is embarrassing. I have the urge to publish this page here, in spite of my reluctance juices flowing.

Long live Dickface.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I lit myself on fire, and other news

I lit myself on fire on Friday, and now I have a small blister on my finger. But that's not why I'm writing. Well, it's part of why I'm writing but I've got to start further back. For the past three weeks or so I've been trying to focus on school, I may have even posted here about it. Specifically, my focus has been trained on passing a U.S. history class taught by Satan. Long story short, Satan delights in confusing and then failing his students.

Friday was the final exam. I think I did well enough to pass the class, but with Satan handing out the grades you can never be sure. I'm done with school in so far as the semester is over and all that, but I don't feel done. Not until I see that "C" (or better) on my report card will I feel done. And actually, I probably won't even feel done then. I've gotten pretty derailed from the goals that led me to go for a music degree. I was seriously considering dropping out 5 months ago, but I was so close I figured I should just put my head down and finish what I started. I still feel that was the right thing to do, but it has been a pretty fucking frustrating semester.

So anyway, Friday. I went into work early on Friday and it hit me that I was now obligated to begin searching for a new job and a new place to live. After next week I will no longer be eligible to work at my cushy library job, and being done with school I will have no reason to live in the outer reaches of the beautiful San Fernando Valley. I started looking at craigslist for jobs and there were more than I expected. It was a bit overwhelming. I need to get my shit together a little bit more for that.

My mom's birthday was Thursday. Friday there was a celebration at a famous steakhouse. I think I've had one steak in my life that I actually enjoyed. It seems like a dish that is really easy to screw up. I had a cheeseburger (apparently the beef was ground from steak trimmings) and it was fucking amazing. My mom had this birthday book that tells you about yourself based on your birthday, and she had me read aloud everybody's birthday prognostication. It was fun. I have a strong speaking voice and I like speaking out loud. With 12 people at the table, we started to notice a pattern of positivity that couldn't be ignored, so I improvised one for my mom's neighbor. She's a really nice lady, and also a former cop, but again, really cool, cop or not. I improvised a reading for her, pretending it was from the book. "You are mean-spirited and generally disliked. You delight in the misery of others, and probably should have been aborted." etc. It was inspired partly by my history professor and partly by my mom's actor friend who was riffing on the negativity theme when we all started to get sick of the good vibes pumping out of this birthday book.

After that I drove downtown to catch up with the Mook Ride. I parked as soon as I got off the freeway and rode downtown because that's where I thought I had to go. Turns out I neglected the N in 96something N. Hill. Once I got to 9th street downtown I checked my directions because there were some alleys and shit to negotiate and I realized that I had actually parked right next to where I was trying to get to. It was a North Hill address and I was at the South Hill version, which was incorrect. It was nice though. I love riding through downtown. I happened by the building that used to contain my grandfather's camera store. Earl V. Lewis Cameras. He was the youngest of his family, but the first born in the U.S. I found out a few years ago that he was actually Jewish, but having fled the Ukraine because of anti-jewish whatnots, he adopted a Catholic identity.

I met up with Reverend Mook and Jeff and John at some chinese restaurant, and then we went down to the secret place for karaoke. I sang "Easy" as redone by Faith No More. Fucking killed it.

Later on, we drank and drank. Jeff got replaced by Mikey. We here hanging out in the mouth of an alley on to a parking lot, and somehow I got a lighter in my hands and the urge to light the bottom of my white collared short sleve oxford shirt on fire. Its thick. Its cotton. I figured it wouldn't burn too easily, and if it did I could just lay down on my belly and snuff it. Once it got going, it got going. Man, what a thrill. I was playing with it a little while it was still non-threatening and I think thats how I burned my finger. Rev. Mook was capturing audio the whole time with a hand-held recorder. I'm sure at least some of it was worth hearing.

Next day I went on Richie's crankmob ride. It was fun. They love to make a mess, which is kind of annoying, but the people are still really interesting and fun to be around. It was a good ride. No drama, no cops. Richie taught Larsen a small lesson on how to manipulate his environment without destroying things, I even managed to get the JohnnyBoy and Alaska to play something other than electronic dance music on their awesome soundbike. It was nice. We all sat around and listend to Bach and shit like that.

So that was that. Now I'm writing about it. Today I sat down and went through all the old tickets and court shit that is hanging over my head, and found out that my drivers license is indeed suspended. I'm sure if I get run by the cops I'll end up in jail, unless I can clear it all first. I'm curious to see how much its going to end up costing me. I still have an outstanding thing from 2006 when I got caught riding my bike on the freeway. Man. There's more to say, but I am done writing for now. Hopefully the next post here will be a new song or something. Blah blah blah. Goodnight.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It Really Happened

photo by Mr. Rollers

I am in the library right now, studying the minutiae of United States History in preparation for an exam. After that I will be studying the minutiae of getting a job and a new place to live. I have to post something about the show, though. It was so much fun. I think I may have had a little too much fun, in fact, and I think the sound may have been terrible. But people danced, and most of them stuck around until the end, so yeah, end of that line of thinking.

To Stan, Mike, and Leon: The fabulous musicians who supported me. I cannot thank you enough.

To the Bike Oven and Tren Way, NELA and everybody else who lent an ear: thank you for giving me a place to do what I do.

Now, back to "work".

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

this might be a song someday

Just checking in. Here's something I recorded on my phone. It's what we in the business call a "demo recording"


I got a diplomatic boner
All the people in the world tonight
I'm a punk rock hoochie-coochie
I don't think that I will ever die

Love springs eternal
A man and a robot
Making little robo-babies
Fighting for the free world

Friday, April 29, 2011

Correction: Jesus was a Lich

Unless these spinning plates come crashing to the ground, it looks like I'm going to be playing at the Bike Oven after the Spoke(n)Art ride on May 14, where I will be joined by the unquestionable Michael Alvidrez and the illustrious Leon Le Doux, playing double-bass and drum-set, respectively. More info to come, pending I feel like it.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

School is for Morons

I know what I want to do. Nothing I'm doing right now has anything to do with what I want to do. But I'm so close to being done, I have to finish this thing like Johnny Cage. I am in real danger of failing a class that I need to pass in order to be done. My mind continually drifts towards music, and building a career as a freestanding I-do-what-I-want artist. But I have to put that out of my mind. Just for a few weeks. Pray to Eris for me, on this holy day when we remember that Jesus became a zombie for our sins.

Monday, April 18, 2011

New Song and Video: Dumb

I bought a new video camera. I wrote a new song. Therefore:

Click here to stream or download the mp3. (If you want to actually download the mp3 rather than just stream it, click on the link and when the player opens, right click [control-click for apple] on the player and "save as...")

If you are curious, the talking in the background is from the movie "Waking Life." I was watching it while recording the guitar/vocals. It seems like a bad idea in most recording situations to have a movie on in the background, so I'm not sure why I didn't turn it off. It ended up adding something to the song, though, so I guess that's why.

Here are the lyrics:


I wanna be famous
I wanna go on tour
I wanna write the songs that everyone sings

I wanna be blameless
I wanna be pure
I wanna find a nice pretty girl and give her a ring

But I'm just dumb
I'm selfish and cruel
I learned all of my lessons but I'm still in school
I'd stop being so foolish if I wasn't a fool

I wanna be lonely
I wanna be rich
I wanna scratch for every itch

I wanna have power
I wanna have praise
I wanna little bit more than a 25 cent raise

But I'm just dumb
I'm selfish and cruel
I learned all of my lessons but I'm still in school
I'd stop being so foolish if I wasn't a fool

Circling around and around and around, etc.
Turning around and around and around, etc.
Spinning around and around and around, etc.

But I'm just dumb
I'm selfish and cruel
I learned all of my lessons but I'm still in school
I'd stop being so foolish if I wasn't a fool

Friday, April 8, 2011

New Version of a Newish Song: Salvation Mountain

I didn't mean to do it. I was messing around in the "studio" (aka the dingy half-garage where I sleep and keep my things) and all of a sudden I had a full band-style recording of "Salvation Mountain".

I wish I had filmed it - would have made for a neat video. Given the lack of space, it is a mega fucking hassle to record a full drumset, even one as small as mine. So, I recorded the drums one instrument at a time. I took the beater off of the kick pedal, mic'd the drum and went to town. I recorded the snare without sticks: just fingers like drumming on your desk. Etc. Etc. Everything was close mic'd, so you can't hear the acoustic suckiness of my room. It was really fun, and really easy, and I only had to do one take on everything.

Oh, and I think the vocals are terrible, but whatever.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Old Song: Earthquake (peak-oil mix) / Jumpin' Jehosephat

I probably recorded this in mid-late 2004. It started out as an instrumental track, and then I wrote a song around it. I recorded a million vocal takes, riffing on the words and melodies I wrote. When that was done I was at a loss for what to do with it all, so I gave the masters to my friend Komputadora. He did some really brilliant editing, and called it the "peak-oil mix", a reference to "the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline." (quote from wikipedia)

After enjoying the heck out of it for a while, we both more or less forgot about the track. But, Komputadora recently remembered about it and asked me for a copy, having lost his own when he destroyed his computer by wielding it in self-defense during a batched bank robbery. Rather than just send it to him privately, I thought I'd post it up here for the benefit of the entire human race.

Here are the lyrics. Cut up and improvised as it is, they aren't necessarily in order or super-accurate.

earthquake comes quickly underneath
welcome the new american species
feel the shake coming on so quickly

magma flows and panty-hoes are weighing out pros and cons
ya'll better know where mother goes, when everything's going wrong
gonna be accidents and fender dents when you put that pedal down
everybody jump like jehosephat when you hear that funky sound

i don't know but i've been told, the end is coming soon
floods and fires and pestilence, are sprouting up in my room
you might call me paranoid, and thats probably true
im just gonna jump like jehosephat its the sensible thing to do

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I Got Physically Assaulted

It was a Tren Way Tuesday Birthday Ride in honor of Dionysius Marin. Probably the shortest ride I've ever been on, which was fine because we went to the freshest park in L.A. It's on a hill and they can't see you from the street when you're drinking beer and smashing a pinata and climbing on the various awesome toys. After that: Tren Way Park, more beers, singing, playing with yo-yos, and Spider-Man flashlights. Then we tried to go to Bowling Karaoke Place but they were CLOSED. So, we went to John's Stupid Fucking Bar. Lance bought me a glass of tasty beer and we proceeded to dominate the juke box for about 15 songs. We picked some really good stuff. I was happy because I was hanging out with some of my favorite people and I was drunk because I was filled with beer. During the silence between songs while the jukebox was changing cd's I would sing and fill the space. That's pretty much what I remember. I lost myself in the noise of the situation, as I tend to do from time to time. Things went on like that for a while.

Next thing I know, somebody has their hand on my neck and is rapidly dragging me through the bar, out the door, and onto the sidewalk. I've never been in a fight in my adult life, let alone surprise attacked by some big-ass motherfucker. It turns out the guy was the bouncer. I guess the bartender didn't like my singing, and he let the bouncer know. The bouncer then went ape-shit on Mateo. I was out there on the sidewalk and there were people all around, yelling and all sorts of bullshit, and there is some big ass dude that fucking HATES me, for no reason.

Honestly, I wasn't really mad at the guy. I was mostly just confused. I didn't know what his deal was, and I didn't particularly care. I wasn't at all interested in trying to hurt him back. However, I'll be god-fucking damned if I let anybody try to tell me what to do for no fucking reason, so I stood up, kept cool, and tried to walk back into the bar to resume the party, whereupon he pushed my stupid ass back on the ground. I'm pretty good at falling, so I think I could have kept it up all night. In retrospect, I think I was trying to do the "Jesus" thing, you know, turn the other cheek and all that. I was trying to show him what an idiot he was. If I would have reacted violently - or if I had run away - those are reactions that he is probably used to. Instead, I offered him a chance to see himself for what he was, a guy who would beat up some innocent drunk for no reason. Or not, I could just be totally self-righteous.

So anyway, after getting pushed down a couple of times, and getting back up to get pushed back down, Bouncer Guy is being held back and fuming like a bull at a rodeo, and now my own friends are yelling at me, telling me to stop it. I was broken-hearted. I was the victim and then all of a sudden my own friends are blaming me for something? Fuck them. Some douche-bag had been riding with us and actually got in my face and started trying to do the violent confrontation thing, too. Fuck that guy. I thought about it for a while today, and I'm pretty sure my friends were just trying to cool the situation and protect me, seeing as I appeared pretty intent on getting beat up all night long. But not douche-bag, he had hate in his eyes when he looked at me. Fuck him, still. But yeah, Kel yelled at me, and Borfo yelled at me, and I know they both love me so I got on my bike and rode my stupid ass off, along with everybody else. I was pretty rattled, so I stopped at the Stronghold to decompress a little. I have reason to believe that I passed out on the toilet.

I woke up fairly early the next morning and went through Pasadena on my way home to treat myself to a breakfast burrito at Lucky Boy. I missed my political science class, (thank god), but made it to orchestra rehearsal for our first read-through of Stravinsky's Firebird suite. My ankle hurts. My back hurts a lot. I'm blaming it on the playground equipment, though. No meathead stupid fucking bouncer can touch me.

4/4/2011 - Apparently it wasn't super clear and rather than go to the trouble of rewriting a stupid blog post I'm adding this post-script just in case anybody actually reads this. So: I was hurt at the time, but I realized later that my friends (Kel, Borfo, and those not named) were looking out for me and I am not mad at them at all. In fact, I love them more than ever. The End.

Monday, March 28, 2011

New Song: Salvation Mountain

I wrote a new song. It's the first non-freestyle song I've written in a long time. Also, I think it might be the first song I've written against a background of formal music training. I recorded it yesterday in my bedroom.

Click here to download the mp3

Thanks to Beth Willow Yeah for suggesting the theme. Here are the lyrics:

Early in the day I take a walk to Leonard's place
Where he builds his home / a castle for the god he knows

I believe in my dreams and then I forget

Drink my Trystero / bury your car / walk to the show
Trade your stupid clothes for rabbits fur / let your self go

I believe in my dreams and then I forget

Sometimes it's only in my mind
I'm just so busy swimming sometimes I forget I'm in the sea

God is dead and so is old Puree
We built our little church out in the desert / burned his effigy

Dance all night and sing / repeat your careless whispering
Take a walk with me between the stars down by the sea

I believe in my dreams and then I forget

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Freestyle: When What You Said Was Nonsense

This one is fresh. I haven't slept on it. It's just popping out. I added some effects to the second part, but the recording is uncut. Here be the lyrics:

when what you said was nonsense / i can't breathe in your face
oh what the fuck are you saying / about this human race
stop running / down the street
oh the dead bodies piling / in my truck
the friends of the friendless / don't give a fuck
they don't give a fuck about you and me we're friends in lobotomies
oh you and me we're friendly 'cause we got lobotomies

now / now
better go somewhere fast or else it's gonna…

when i was born i fell over onto the floor
doctors and nurses running around they don't know what to do
suddenly out of the shower came a big man wearing a shoe
he picked me up and he ran out the door
i don't know what for
but now i'm here
dying dying dying dying dying dying
dying dying dying dying dying

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Salton Sea IV - Death by a Thousand Cuts

The Range. They thought we weren't going to be there on account of the rain. Surprise, surprise; we were there in full force. At some point, Nicole says its bunny time. I stripped down and suited up. The hippie raver bike scum sound-bike showed up, and I took it on. Me and my megaphone vs. obnoxious dance music. I yelled at the speakers and made it better. Drum machines have no soul, unless you rub your soul all over them. I rubbed my soul all over everything. There was dancing and bike tricks and whatever else I saw in pictures later. Fucking awesome. I hi-jacked the sound-bike and played the Raising Arizona theme for ten minutes. I helped draw fishnet stockings on Greg with a sharpie, and gave him a Tomatoes “Wish Ya'll Were Here” sharpie-tattoo on on his arm.

Fashion show. Nicole on the mic. Apparently, she did a bang-up job. I was pretty solid into a manic phase, so I don't remember much. I strutted across the stage and then snuck over to the drumset. Thus, the fashion show transitioned into the music show. Me and Kel sang something, apparently. There's a picture to prove it. People in the audience requested “White Men Don't Name Their Babies Jesus” so I found a guitar and played it. Of course I played it in the wrong key and my whiskey-stained voice couldn't handle it. I guess it was cool, though. Beth told me about it later and she sounded impressed. After that I just watched people play. There's a picture of that, too. It was nice to sit and listen and clap.

Fashion show over. Time to disperse. I didn't know where to go or why. I ended up walking with Tomatoes' mom for a while and talking to her about something I don't remember. All I know for sure is that at some point I started crying like a fucking baby. I had to sit down. She crouched down with me and put her arm around my shoulder. It felt good to cry, I guess. It was a “good cry”. I don't know if I was crying for Tomatoes or what. It's possible. I read all his blog writings and published them. I'm now in the process of reading and editing his book, Tijuana Tap Water. I may have never exchanged two words with the guy in life, but I'm definitely getting to know his ghost. In fact, I would venture to say I know his ghost better than anybody. He's looking over my shoulder, right now, in fact. He thinks I'm an arrogant hack, both as a writer and as a musician. Whatever. Fuck you, Tomatoes. Return your mom's phone call. (Weirdly, Tomatoes' mom called me later on the same day I wrote this. I don't know how she got my number.)

I could have used a tour guide at this point. I wanted to see Charlie's place and play on his piano but I didn't know where Charlie's was and I was more concerned with not getting lost. As is my tendency, I wandered off alone. I didn't know where I was going or what I was doing. All I could do was walk. I headed back towards where I thought camp was. At the top the ridge overlooking camp, I hooked up with some kids with instruments. Banjo, trumpet, accordion. Awesome. They played songs up there and I held my megaphone out for the guy with the banjo because he was singing. Apparently they are a band called Gibbon and the Sluts. The next night I joined them as they serenaded the campground with an extended version of the classic: "Fuck You, Eat Shit Motherfucker!" along with some other great songs like "You're Still on Acid" and "Third Eye Blind Ain't Nothin' To Fuck With."

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Freestyle: A Spanish Motherfucking Breeze

I recorded this freestyle on February 3rd. Its got some really nice moments.

Funny thing, I didn't sit down planning to record a freestyle. Rather, I was testing some equipment and had the tape running, when all of a sudden I got possessed. Next thing I knew I had this perfect little thing. Three minutes exactly.

Here are the lyrics:

I got a spanish muthafuckin breeze blowing through my window - through my window
I cant fall down on on my knees anymore-anymore
I tell the stories about the times and the ways and all the drugs that I did and all the days that I splayed out, out on the pages, for you to read

when the time comes, all the spanish dancers, when the time comes to me

a notorious breeze, blowing through my window, catching the scoldiness of the oven, burning all the things that I put in the kitchen
electronic funk, folk music junk, recapitulating something else that I thunk, you know the metal up in my head its made of leaven, leaven bread you know the

the function of time is making me invincible sometimes, and I cannot help but whine, because im drinking too much beer

I aint made of fear I aint made of fire I aint made of nuthin but electrical wire
I'm coarsin' through your veins, I'm stickin' up in your brains, and I know I'm electric, oh yeah
I got that ink its all up ina your eyeballs, its making your eyeballs all sorts of different colors and childs are crying in the night cuz their mothers are missing, yeah

and there's no way to think about this sunk, there's no way to think about this sunken ship
but I know that I cant help but shake my hip, and I know that I cant help but play the chick
and I know that the keys are inconsistent, and I know that im playing in the rhythm
and the sewer in the bowl and the flowing through my mind, I cant bear it anymore I cant bear it anymore

but the time was when I was a children, all the made me into something
and I walked into the summer, and I fell down and my brother he was dying in the hole I couldn't reach him, couldnt reach him, and my brother was dying and I couldnt reach him anymore, I rode that van full of firewood into the sun into the sun, and it just kept burning out I rode that van of firewood into the sun and it just kept burning out

Improvised Songs

One of the things I do is improvise songs. Sometimes I call them freestyle songs, or freestyle jams, whatever. I was going to have a page dedicated to recent freestyles on the new website but fuck that. My html skills are about as basic as it gets and I can see that shit getting sloppy, quick.


Oh, I'm sorry. You don't know what a freestyle song is? Let me explain. What I do when I record a freestyle song is this:

1) Set up recording gear. (microphone(s), mixer, computer, etc. check the levels and whatnot, engineering stuff, dig?)

2) Press "Record"

3) Pick up the guitar

4) Come up with a song completely off the top of my head: words, melodies, guitar parts, chords, rhythms, shouts, silences, stops, starts, everything.

90% of the time the result is no more than an audible turd, but sometimes I get lucky and cipher something that I like to listen to.

I used to make a lot of freestyle songs. "Freestyling at the Red House" is an entire album of free style tracks with bass and drums overdubbed to make it sound like a band. Going to music school, I kind of stopped playing guitar and got out of practice, so I suck a little bit now. Also, I learned a lot of stuff about theory and harmony so its really easy to get distracted by those kind of thoughts. The best freestyles usually happen when you aren't thinking about anything at all.

So anyway, they're gonna be here on this blog.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Salton Sea IV - Everybody Screamed

I went to the Salton Sea. I drove out with Borfo in his little truck. We filled it with wood and tied our bikes and big bags and stuff on top and I sat with three other bags in my lap and a cooler sat bitch. We stopped at the Ski Inn at Bombay Beach and had a drink with Jeff, Jenny, and Kel. The Ski Inn is my favorite bar in the world. Not only is the general ambiance plain awesome, but they serve Fat Tire on tap in mason jars for 2.50. Fucking A.

It never rains there, but now it was going to rain. The forecast on my smarty-pants phone showed a 100% chance around 1 am. Fortunately, everybody had time to set up camp, even Dak and Stephanie, who showed up later than expected because some of the Tomatoes memorial blew out of their truck on the freeway. The bar got set up, and I was bumming beers because I thought (foolishly in hindsight) that there was going to be beer available, certainly to me, since I was providing the sound system. The rain started, and of course people congregated in the bar, which provided a good deal of shelter. Dak didn't want the sound running yet for whatever reason, but everybody was pretty hyped, and there were megaphones all around, so you didn't really miss it. Etc. Etc. Nice to see you. How's it going? Did you hear? I've been doing such and such. I'm gonna do this and that. Isn't this great? Blah Blah Blah, Yadda Yadda Yadda.

At some point I sat down at the center table. I forget who was sitting there with me. Maybe Stephanie, Shues, Chynna, July, I don't really know. It was getting pretty loud, then it was getting REALLY loud.

I had my small megaphone with me. I love that thing. It's really all you need in most situations. That evening I had been experimenting with feed-backing the thing by placing it horn-down on a flat surface and pulling the trigger. If you lifted the horn up a little you could alter the feedback and do rhythmic/melodic stuff.

It was so loud in that bar. It was getting SO FUCKING LOUD. I don't know how it started, but I feel like I helped. At very least, I felt it coming and pushed it, kind of like surfing. You see the wave coming and you guide yourself into it and there you go, not that I'm a surfer, but I get the concept. So it was loud, and I felt like some kind of crazy energy was pushing the sound, like everybody was so hyped from being all crammed together in this weird place with the rain and all their interesting lives intersecting and I started feed-backing my megaphone, right there in the middle of the table, just a steady stream of noise. It was getting louder and louder. Other megaphones were feed-backing. Then it really started. People started screaming. Just yelling, steady, strong. It seemed like everybody was screaming, and then I screamed, too, as strong and steady as I could. I closed my eyes. You could feel the sound. It was so loud you couldn't even hear anything anymore. There's a certain point where your ears just give up and it all turns to noise.

As all things do, it stopped after a while. I had stopped feed-backing my megaphone. Someone was standing behind me, holding their megaphone over my head and feed-backing it or yelling into it or something. I was just smiling. Nobody was yelling anymore, just laughing and talking or whatever. The others at the table were looking at me and laughing because of whoever behind me with the megaphone. I didn't care who was holding the the megaphone over my head. It felt nice, and I was smiling a lot. I just liked the attention, I guess. The noise certainly didn't bother me. It was music to my ears. It stopped pretty soon.

I asked around later, and I am pretty well convinced that everybody screamed. Every single person in that little shelter, in the rain, lit up with christmas lights in the desert. There must have been at least 50 people. Everybody screamed together and made the most glorious sound. Its echoing off somewhere in space now. Im sure Tomatoes heard it. I'm also sure he would say that that's sentimental bullshit, that he's dead and can't hear a gosh darn thing, but fuck that. He heard it.

I did a lot of other stuff, too. Might write about it later.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Already getting meta

I don't know how this blog should be. The superhappyadventureclub blog is only one entry deep, but it has a clear tone. Objective. Reporter-style. This thing, however, I don't know what to make of it. I've got all these ideas in my head about "monetizing" and "branding." I've lost my fear of the dollar, but I'm not a natural entrepreneur. I'm afraid if I really let myself go with this thing it will just end up a masturbatory exercise like all the others. On the other hand, who wants to read the thoughts of somebody being careful?

Yet Another Blog

This is the seventh blog I have created. (5 of them are "secret".) This one will be autobiographical.